Papdi Chaat

Chaat is a broad term for savory vegetarian snacks. This version is from Nidhi Jalan, founder of Brooklyn-based Masala Mama -- maker of artisan Indian simmer sauces (we love the Coconut Curry). Nidhi has wonderful childhood memories of eating chaat on-the-spot from street vendors in Kolkata. She likens this personal favorite to nachos and almost prefers tortilla chips over the traditional papdi (small flour-based wafers). It's a flavor explosion of tangy, sweet, salty and spicy.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Potato-Chickpea Mixture:

3 medium-boiled potatoes, skins removed, chopped

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon roasted ground cumin (see Cook's Note)

1/4 teaspoon fine Indian black salt (kala namak) (see Cook's Note)

Green Chutney:

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon roasted ground cumin 

2 Thai green or serrano chilies, roughly chopped (seeds removed for less heat)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, thick parts of stems trimmed (about 2 cups)

One 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger

1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 cup)

Juice from 1 large lime (about 2 tablespoons)

Kosher salt 

Yogurt Sauce:

2 cups Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon roasted ground cumin 

Kosher salt

For Serving:

5 cups round tortilla chips (about 4 ounces) or papdi (see Cook's Note)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

Tamarind-date chutney, such as Deep brand

1 tablespoon chaat masala (see Cook's Note)

3/4 cup sev (see Cook's Note)

Directions

  1. For the potato-chickpea mixture: Mix together the potatoes, chickpeas, chili powder, cumin and black salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. For the Green Chutney: Combine the sugar, cumin, chilies, cilantro, ginger, mint, lime juice, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside. Makes: 1/3 cup. (See Cook's Note.)
  3. For the yogurt sauce: Whisk together the yogurt, cumin, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
  4. Arrange the tortilla chips or papdi in a single layer on a large platter (just like you were making nachos). Evenly top with the potato-chickpea mixture. Sprinkle with the onion. Drizzle on the yogurt sauce. Drizzle on the tamarind-date chutney. Add dollops of the green chutney. Sprinkle with the chaat masala and cilantro leaves, if using. Evenly and beautifully sprinkle with the sev. Serve right away.

Cook’s Note

Look for roasted ground cumin in your grocery store or toast and grind your own cumin seeds. Black Indian salt is a pungent-smelling lava rock salt that packs a ton of umami so a little goes a long way. Papdis are small, crisp wafers made from flour. Chaat Masala is an Indian spice blend that often flavors street food. Sev are crispy fried noodle-like snack made from chickpea flour. Look for all the above items in an Indian food market. You can do much of the prep work before and assemble last minute. The green chutney does change color if refrigerated for too long.